I NEED YOUR HELP! Portfolio WIP
@Asyas_illos Thats smart but I was only prevalent in pencil and ink. What are your thoughts ma'am?
@Kori-Jensen what software do you use? I use procreate, and I just started digital last year. For me moving to digital was totally foreign, and super frustrating. It wasn’t until I discovered different brushes that I began to feel more comfortable. So I would do some research on brush sets that are compatible with whatever program you work with and just have fun!
@Asyas_illos Well you did mention air brushes and I experimented. I don't know how I am going to incorporate it into my drawings but I am excited to find out. I use photoshop, but originally I was all about illustrator and flat design. And like you I knew nothing about photoshop and it was awkward. I got a cyntique though so I'm a bit more comfortable.
NicolaSchofield last edited by
@Kori-Jensen you can probably make a good start on your own list of things to include by looking at your favourite children's books and/or the portfolios of your favourite children's book illustrators.
@neschof Also a very good idea, but I like knowing the ins and outs of why certain things are important in the portfolio. That way I can better aim my portfolio correctly. Does that make sence?
NO airbrushes! LOL I’m sorry you misunderstood what I meant. Or I wasn’t clear, but I meant, try to to avoid the airbrush and similar brushes because they seem very stagnant to me, but that’s just my opinion!
Jeremy Ross last edited by
Hi @Kori-Jensen, Firstly, bravo for taking the step to request honest feedback. That’s tough to do for so many artist because of the sense of attachment to their art.
3 Things I Like:
- Your single ghost piece is my favorite. I like the color and rendering style. It’s awesome!
- Your depth and atmospheric perspective is good on the forest scenes.
- You seem to be comfortable working with color harmony. I like blue and green hues in many of your pieces.
3 things I think you can improve on:
- You appear to lack consistency in your pieces. If I were an art director, I wouldn’t be sure you wanted to make picturebooks based on the single character designs, especially ninjas and game of thrones character. I would think Character Designer.
- None of your pieces, with the exception of the book cover of the tattoo guy and cat, tell a story. I’m still learning this, but portfolio pieces need to tell a story to avoid having potential clients guessing your message. You obviously have skills, so focusing on storytelling will help you tremendously.
- You need more pieces, and stronger pieces that demonstrate your highest skill level. I realize you chose 12 pieces based on common advice, but I believe you can make 12 stronger pieces than you have on your site. Again, focus on storytelling. I suggest you find your favorite artist and focus on master copies to help you learn and problem solve.
Remember, even your favorite artists had to start somewhere. Perhaps create 12 new pieces each 6 months as you continue to develop and improve.
Personally, I’m probably not the best person to give advice because I’ve been rejected by many agents for lacking art skills. I don’t care because I’m having fun and trying to get 1% better with each piece. I just don’t have the miles yet.
Hope this helps!
@Jeremy-Ross Sir! You are a gentleman and a scholar and I so appreciate your help. I have been so fed up with the fact that I wasn't getting anywhere and I think I am ready to be torn down to be built back up again. As it is with any renovation. I hugely appreciate your help sir.
I think my work lacks a lot of dimension and it hurts knowing that, while at the same time I am glad I can be honest with myself. I am glad you like the vibrancy in my work. I am proud of that for sure.
Your right I do need to tell more stories. And I also need to learn how to do that. THANK YOU once again!
@Asyas_illos Stagnent? how so?
Jeremy Ross last edited by
You’re very welcome @Kori-Jensen!
I made a promise to myself to enter every SVS Monthly Art Contest with “storytelling” in mind. Although I only made sweet 16 cut twice out of many-many tries, it’s a great motivator to try your best work. I suggest you try the same if you’re looking to reinvent yourself.
I believe Jake said if you consistently make top 16 and win multiple challenges, you’re pretty much ready for the big stage. From the winners of the last 20 plus challenges I’ve participated in, I agree with Jake’s assertion.
NicolaSchofield last edited by
@Jeremy-Ross this is how to give good feedback!
Jeremy said everything I was thinking but much better than I could say it.
I’m not sure how how to describe it and it is just one persons opinion, some people can rock it for sure, but to me it seems just very stiff?, maybe is a better word.? Kind of like too much of a good thing is a bad thing I feel like it just gets built up and something that’s meant be smooth and flowing, loses its essence. Maybe I just have that feeling because I myself don’t understand how to use it and use it well? I do agree with what others have said as well but knowledge of those elements I think fall into skill as well, knowing those storytelling aspects and composition and so forth. I am having to discontinue my subscription as well do to changes in my life at the moment, but I really wish I didn’t I have learned so much and there’s still so much I need to learn ! If you’re able to I would sign back up and keep taking classes that interest you or that you think you need work on. Cool? Hope to see more from you in the future! By the way I always loved that book cover, it’s definitely my favorite!
seelliott last edited by seelliott
Hi Kori, Just wanted to throw my two cents into the ring! I am no expert so please take my opinion with a pinch of salt.
I think you are doing lots of things well and you have great skill in your anatomy and colours. I think your problem is content and consistency of style.
You say you want to focus on picture books or middle grade books. If you are focused on picture books these are aimed at 5-10 year olds and are heavily story driven. You only have one image with a child that looks the appropriate age. You also only have a few story driven images. Can you write a sentence to describe what is going on for each piece? Do you want to know what is going to happen next in the story? I would add some images that are before the action, during the action or after the action.
Take your samiri cat for example. I personally love this image but if it was in a children's book the cat needs to be doing something. How about drawing the cat 6 times in different poses cooking or cleaning or fighting or something? A character sheet is a great portfolio piece.
It looks a bit like you have a few styles. I see a line art comic style, ones like the haunted forest one and the fang and mitton one. I love this book cover by the way! It totally ok to experiment but keep looking for something that doesn't fit. If you couldn't see it in a picture book or middle grade book then however lovely the image is take it out.
Like your Dex Van Staten piece. This is great and the detail is lovely but can you see this in a picture book? A middle grade book maybe but even then it would have a younger character alongside it to give it context plus some interaction and story.
Have you ever tried illustrating a fairy-tale or preexisting story? Try a book cover and some internal illustrations.
I look forward to seeing how your portfolio develops. Keep going. You are doing a great job.
Check out Will Terry's portfolio course for some great tips.
@Jeremy-Ross Thats a great challenge and absolutely I agree. I think I'll do it too!
@neschof Your opinion is still very much appreciated my friend. You guys and gals are amazing to the empth degree. I shall be taking your advice as best I can. UGH! why is there a 120 second limit on when I can reply to you all. I just want to give you all a verbal hug.
@Asyas_illos You are so kind with your advice my friend. Fluidity has been a struggle, especially within my 2d cartoon characters. This is why I try to make up for it in a dynamic background. However, as you (and my other friends here) said, I am lacking a certain something in my skill set. I am sooooo determined to learn what I must learn and obtain what I must obtain in order to become a master Illustrator. I am not as good as I thought I was and thats okay. Such is the life of an illustrator. I would not have it any other way, its the journey to becoming a master that is truly rewarding. And I sooo appreciate that there are others like you who take the time to help me.
As for my book cover, you are too kind. I hope to wow others and truly make them feel something when they look at my art.
@seelliott Thank you so much! I see a lot of good advice and I just wanted to make better sence of what you are saying. Possibly due to the fact that it's first thing in the morning and I am not fully here. And there were a lot of ideas in here.
As far as I understand it, you think I need to make more of an effort to make my art more child friendly rather than all of the detailed and mature subject matter?
As well I get what your saying about the samurai cat (also one of my favourites too ;)) I need to diversify the content so that it can be visualized as a fully realized, walk talking, character.
As for showcasing different styles, do you think it's good to have more than one style within your portfolio as long as they are appropriate to a children's book. Is that what you are saying?
I have done fairy tale book covers, but I'm curious to know what I could do with them now.
I'll do my best to improve and I thank you for taking the time out to helping me!
PS I love your art. makes me feel warm, like I am back in my elementary school's library reading a book. THANK YOU!
CukiArtist last edited by
@Kori-Jensen Currently I would say your art style is more suited for middle grade or chapter books than picture books. (Still valid options). I'm currently trying to put a portfolio together for the same market, which shows I'm also a rookie and not a professional but here are my 2 cents.
This old episode from 3 Point Perspective podcast is about making a good portfolio and includes a list at the bottom of things to try and include. This might help you set goals. https://www.svslearn.com/3pointperspectiveblog/2019/5/22/building-a-strong-portfolio
For example with this Jack cover, why not now create some interiors for this book including full page, spot and vignettes. Show your character, Jack doing different things from the story such as climbing the beanstalk, sneaking around the giant's castle, interacting with the goose etc. This shows that you can tell story, create consistent characters and handle a variety of things such as exteriors, interiors and animals.
As for showing different styles. I don't think it's a bad thing but I would suggest create projects like the Jack example above with each project show casing a different style but consistent within the project.
@CukiArtist Those are valid points and wonderful ideas. I think I can capture the hearts more with a recognizable story and with different perspectives to tell the story. Thank you so much for your advice my friend :).
seelliott last edited by
@Kori-Jensen Hi Kori,
My main point is not to have just character designs. Have them interacting and doing things. As long as you can describe what they are doing.
As for styles I struggle a bit because it is so subjective. I have heard that it is best to have just one and if you wanted to add in another later then you could do another portfolio to showcase that. Your comic style really comes out in most of your pieces
The book cover looks good. You could add this straight into your portfolio to showcase a cover and the child looks a lot younger but it feels more middle grade than picture book maybe. That might be just me.
I would agree with @cukiArtist that you might fit well in middle grade but really choose which one you think you will enjoy the most. Middle grade has a lot of black and white. I am learning that it is quite different in style and content.
I am just trying to fix my portfolio as I couldn't choose between middle grade and picture books so did a bit of both to help me decide. I think Picture books has won! Thanks for your kind words about my art.